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July 14, 2013

Top Ten Countdown : Class 5A

4A Throughout the month of July, we'll begin previewing the 2013 football season by counting down the top ten teams in the state for each of the six classifications.

The state is going to look very different this year come playoff time.  All the programs in the state have been realigned based on their enrollment numbers and each classification has been divided into either North / South or East / West regions.

Sixteen teams from each region will advance to the postseason and the bracket will play down until there is one regional champion standing on each half of the state.  Those two champions will then meet to determine the state title.

CLASSIFICATION 5A
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 6. Hampton Crabbers
Outlook:  The worst season that the storied Crabbers program has had in over three decades was when they won "only" eight games.  Picking them for any top ten ranking takes no more thought than that.  Always a strong running team, Coach Mike Smith may be able to add an explosive passing game this season as quarterback Javon Quillen and wide receiver Umar Muhammed-Wyatt can be a lethal connection.
 7. Meadowbrook Monarchs
Outlook:  The graduation losses suffered by the Monarchs program were substantial last season but there are a host of talented youngster ready to make names for themselves this fall including receivers D'Angelo Amos and Terrelle Whitaker.   Two-way lineman Cornelius Tyler can be dominating and teammates Jeff Lee, Jonathan Jones and Khalil James could have breakout years on defense.  There is work to put in but this blue-collar program won't be backed down by anyone.
 8. Highland Springs Springers
Outlook:  Always a team in the hunt, the Springers will be just as dangerous as ever this season with quarterback DJ Johnson playing out his high school career along with fullback Darryl Wilson and speedy junior tailback Marcus Taylor.  With the new playoff rules in effect, the Springers should be a shoo-in for the postseason, a spot that they usually only collected ni the past by winning the rugged Central District.
 9. Broad Run Spartans
Outlook:  After a 5-5 season last year, the Ashburn-area program looks ready to be back on the power track this fall with several offensive stars returning including quarterback Brady Reitzel and athletes Corey Hilberath and Da'Qwan Earl who were the team's three leading rushers last season.  Division 1 prospect Chuck Davis returns on the defensive side of the ball as a big-hitting, ball-hawking safety.  A tough schedule should have them battle-tested come playoff time.
10. North Stafford Wolverines
Outlook:  Back-to-back state semifinal appearances with extremely close losses to the eventual state champions has more than proven the mettle of Coach Joe Mangano's program and it seems to be only a matter of time before they collect a state title.  They are a senior-laden team this year led by Jaw'Wuan Horton, a tight end / defensive end with a considerable amount of offers.  The graduation losses from last season were substantial however so a deep postseason run may not be in the cards this year.  Still, they will be in the hunt.




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